With an ever-growing range of alcoholic beer to choose from, it is common for words such as ‘no alcohol’ and ‘low alcohol’ to be used to refer to drinks that cut back on their alcoholic alternatives.

Although these descriptors are used interchangeably, they actually all refer to different levels of alcohol.

In this article, we will clarify some of the terminology.

Terminology to establish

Let’s start off this article by discussing the four main types of categorisation of alcoholic drinks, as determined by independent charity Drinkaware.

Alcohol-Free Beer

Alcohol free beer are beers that contain less than 0.05% ABV.

To put this into perspective, you would need 100 pints of alcohol free beer to consume the same amount of alcohol as one 5% ABV beer.

De-Alcoholised Beer

De-alcoholised beer contain no more than 0.5% ABV. 

Again, to put this into comparison, you would need 10 pints of de-alcoholised beer for the same amount of alcohol as one 5% ABV beer.

Low Alcohol Beer

Low alcohol beer describes any beer that has between 0.5 and 1.2% ABV.

You would need four to five low alcohol beers for one 5% ABV beer.

Alcoholic Beer

Any beer that contains over 1.2% ABV is considered an alcoholic beer.

Non alcoholic beer versus low alcoholic beer – what’s the difference?

Based on the above classification, there is no such thing as a ‘non alcoholic’ beer.

Instead, you are typically referring to alcohol free or de-alcoholised beers.

‘Low alcohol’ beers are easier to classify, they simply have less than 1.2% ABV.

The reason that you there is no such thing as ‘non-alcoholic’ beers is due to the manufacturing process of how these beers are made, which typically remove alcohol, rather than avoid it altogether.

Regardless of the beer you choose the drink, you can be sure that there are plenty of great tasting alternatives to choose from!

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